Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jamie Kelly: The joy of being a person; the bliss of the little things

I just went down to the deli in our building to see what they had for food. They don't make many vegan things, but sometimes they have sides of stuff and they have a nice salad bar. I got a side of seasoned red potatoes and put some ketchup on them. I then needed to decide whether I was going to eat them there or go back to my office. I decided to grab a fork and just eat it on the way. I was overcome with happiness at the thought. What a good predicament to be in!

This decision gave me some unexpected perspective on how these little things make me so happy. With my blissful ketchup covered red potatoes, I walked, ate, and realized that this isn't the first time this week I have been happy and aware of why.

The time prior, I got excited about my new TV. I thought and thought about it, did research and chose one that I will pay for all by myself. No pressure, no stress, just an amazing new toy. I anticipate it's arrival daily and envision playing Rock Band or Super Mario Galaxy 2 on it.

I used to get this way around game releases. My entire year would be bookmarked by when the next Zelda came out, when the new Nintendo system was released or when Perfect Dark FINALLY hit shelves.

And even then, I felt like this feeling was something unique. We all have them, so in the context of person to person, bliss over something small isn't rare, but I do think that it both goes unnoticed a whole lot and it isn't respected as much as it should be.

As humans, I think this feeling is very unique. I believe, sincerely, that once we get to wherever we go after we die, we will look back on things and say something like, "Man, I miss ice cream SOOOO MUCH!" because it is a HUMAN EXPERIENCE. The excitement of intimacy, sex and humor, the playing and listening of music, the expression of art, the ability to work hard and to see the results in a forming six pack or tighter jaw line, these are very human joys, though other creatures share some as well.

I see people all around me taking bliss in the little things. People who look forward to their first coffee in the morning, people who eagerly await an upcoming concert, people who read reviews for a movie or game that they have been waiting for for ages, the delight of making and then eating food, naps, kittens, summer, roller coasters, new cars, guns, free time, vacation, a new CD, a new cell phone....the list goes on forever.

Red rosemary potatoes covered in ketchup.

When people use these little things to cope with life, that is when trouble is invited. ABSOLUTELY HAVING TO HAVE COFFEE in the morning no longer makes the trip to Starbucks a fun event to look forward to, Instead, it is a critical pillar in your day and without it, you are worse off. THE ABSOLUTE NEED TO DRINK AT EVERY GET TOGETHER removes the excitement of the variety and specialness that is going to a new place for a get together since without alcohol, you feel incapable of relaxing or loosening up. Drinking becomes a step rather than a treat.

There are two things that I think we need to do in reaction to this awareness. First, realize how lucky we are to have these little things. Second, I think that it's important to realize that we all have a list of unique joys and that if my list doesn't match up with yours, that's fine. I don't like to drink, but if you do, then do it. It gives a bit more comfort to someone who is typically uptight about how others choose to spend their time, or in American terms, their money.

Do you get mad at people who spend more than 20/30/40 hours a week on World of Warcraft or Farmville?

Do you find it appalling that someone drives a car that is WAY more expensive than it needs to be?

Do you thrive on the gossip of how others are "screwing up" their life by living it the way THEY want?

Does it bother you when someone wears clothing that is very revealing or that otherwise gets a lot of attention?

Does the idea of someone spending $800 on a purse make you want to punch them in the teeth?

Are you upset by someone's insistence that they want to watch or listen to something that you don't?


How intolerant are you of the ways in which others decide to take joy from the little things? Does it humble you to realize that there are likely thousands of people around the world who would criticize everything YOU do? Do you like that feeling? Why do you perpetuate it?

I went on a date last week. The girl had a problem with everything. Where her friends were living, what they did in their free time, how people decided to spend their money...all of it. I wondered why she felt like this was a good investment in her energy, why it seemed appropriate to tell me, someone who she might potentially start a future with, that she has a problem with just about everything that she herself DOESN'T do.

Take joy in the little things, just don't make them a mandatory part of your coping with life and please, PLEASE, don't criticize others for the way they choose to spend their time and money. It's ugly.

Then again, I just criticized you for spending your time criticizing others, didn't I?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gardenburger Flame-Grilled burgers to be discontinued

Last week, I hosted the Vegan Bacon Cheeseburger Massacre. Everything was going great until I went to buy the burgers...they were gone.

Like, completely gone. I went to 8 stores. Nothing. Someone coming to the party found the last 3 boxes at a Whole Foods and the day was saved.

During the search, I emailed Kellogs to ask them what was up. I got the answer last night:


Thank you for your inquiry concerning our Gardenburger® Flame Grilled Burger.

I am very sorry to inform you that due to lower than expected sales figures we have reluctantly decided to cease production of our Gardenburger® Flame Grilled Burger. We are aware that we have some very loyal consumers and it is very disappointing that we are unable to continue with this product.

I sincerely regret the disappointment caused on this occasion and hope you are able to find another burger of ours that you enjoy just as much.

Thank you again for contacting us.

Best of health,

Giselle Mendoza
Consumer Specialist
Consumer Affairs

Super. Omega. Fail.

Time to find an alternative.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The implications of telling the world to f**k off!

Reading the book, Ishmael (which you should all know about because you watched this:, it becomes very obvious that humans have exempted themselves from nature. We own it. Or we act like we do. Along with this ownership comes the logic that we can bend the rules how we please. The first, and maybe the biggest, rule that was broken related to where we could live and sustain ourselves. All other animals live off of the land, off of the balance that nature provides.

Man gave nature the finger when they...get ready for it...learned how to grow food.

It's a weird concept, right? That planting crops is a BAD thing. But think about other animal plants crops and grows their own food...they live off of what is there on THAT DAY. They don't stockpile and systematically kill every other plant and animal that is a "threat" to their food source. They don't harvest other animals or plants. They take what they need in the moment and that's that. Except for animals who save food for the winter, but even they don't kill other animals or crops to meet this end...they just save what they got THAT DAY. We use a faulty, man-made system that is causing a TON of issues for EVERYTHING on the planet.

The upshot to all of this, the implication of giving nature the finger, is that we EXEMPT ourselves from natural selection. Normally, if you were living in a place or condition that you weren't designed to survive in, you died. End of story. Nobody lived there. Ever.

Then we learned to grow crops in those places. We played Mother Nature and chose where plants grow and where we lived. No other animal does that! They can't. They can't go and tame the earth so that it meets THEIR needs, it's the other way around, and that is the law that we are defying as humans and the point of the book Ishmael.

So now natural selection is pretty much non-existent. We get cold, we put on a coat. We get hot, we turn on the AC. We get sick, we take medicine. We get injured, we go to the hospital. We eat garbage and our heart LITERALLY BREAKS and we have surgery. There is an earthquake and we start up fund raisers and relief efforts and we rebuild.

Every possible avenue that nature has to balance our existence on this planet, we block it as best we can. This is practically a SIN against the world.

But look at how we are raised. Outside of some religions, are there any schools of thought that say "when it's your time to go, it's your time to go"? Not that I know of. And yet, that makes SO MUCH SENSE! When it is time for the gazelle to live and the lion to go hungry, as the book puts it, that's what happens. And when it's time for the gazelle to die to keep the balance of nature going, the gazelle dies.

What about when grandma gets cancer (which is probably our fault anyway because of the poison we ingest) or dad needs another open heart surgery? These are obvious signs from nature that state that IT'S YOUR TIME TO GO.

Earth has its own mind. It will have earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis....and we can't stop it. What we DO do however, is pour money and resources into making sure that the people that the earth was practically shaking off are all OK.

And it sounds cruel, because that is how we have been raised, but when we have a natural "disaster", maybe it is best that we let those people go. Those that survive are strong, or at least lucky, and they can generate better offspring. The fat, slow, sickly man who only survives the flood because a helicopter got him off of the roof of his house should probably die.

Even healthy people will die, but you know what? That's kind of what we need. There are TOO MANY of us on this planet. We spread to places that we weren't meant to live. We established homes and tools that help us survive in climates that we wouldn't last a week in on our own. We trick our bodies with chemicals to ward off the natural mechanisms of nature to off us and balance the human race.

Bottom line: we are going to face massive deaths sooner or later. You can only outrun natural laws for so long. The question I have is this: should we start changing the way we look at people and survival in order to embrace the natural flow of life, death and balance or do we continue to defy every attempt that nature makes to balance our race by improving technology, medicine and unnatural methods to prevent death?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sex Within Relationships

Jamie, Ben and Tillie discuss sex and its effects on relationships.


Jamie, Ben and Tillie discuss sex.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jamie Jabber 77 - (Book) Switch: How to change things when change is hard

Today I discuss a new book about change, why it's hard to change and how you can go about changing yourself and influencing change in others.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blue Chest Adventure Part 1 of 5

Jamie, Dave and Erik head out on their quest to find the blue chest that Jamie saw over the edge of the cliffs of Magnolia, Seattle a few weeks prior. Along the way, they will also look for one of the fallen houses of Magnolia and the legendary stone couch.

Blue Chest Adventure Part 2 of 5

The guys continue their adventure down the "Stairway of Profound Thoughts" and find some pretty interesting "art". Stone love seats, forgotten bricks and rope swings ensue.

Blue Chest Adventure Part 3 of 5

The guys find the secret lab of Dr. L. H. Silverman, an awesome tree-based structure, Dave battles with dyslexia and Erik makes pretty much the best face ever.

Blue Chest Adventure Part 4 of 5

The guys reach the water, traverse the dangerous cliffside, retrieve the walking stick from Poseidon, Dave sustains some awesome battle damage and the chest is found.

Blue Chest Adventure 5 of 5

The guys end their adventure with a run in with a friendly stranger and the use of ninja speed to avoid trouble from the locals! Also, a nice recap of the events through an epic slide show ends the first adventure with Falcon Rad, Crow Gnarly and Vulture Awesome.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jamie Jabber 76 - The point of no return; can you stomach the truth or will you close this video?

How important is it that you maintain the excuse of ignorance? Find out by watching how you react to this.

Jamie...deciphering Fair to Midland lyrics: Bright Bulbs and Sharp Tools

Fair to Midland is my favorite band in the world. I think what makes them so amazing, besides their sound, is their lyrics. Lyrics that are to the point, straightforward, have almost no value to me. Lyrics that make you think, that make you work ever so slightly to find their meaning...that's satisfying.

Of course, that means that the lyrics run the risk of meaning nothing at all.

Like I was saying in a previous Jamie Jabber, words are designed to go into YOUR head and pull from your reference library. This means that when you start getting into obscure lyrics and loose meanings, the definition now becomes widely varied across people. That's's like we each get our own unique emotions from the same words where as something like, "I love you, baby, I need you in my life" leaves almost no room for interpretation while "Suffice it to say, there's a time and a place so I wait for the tug of war and who you'll pull for" can have a wide range of interpretations DEPENDING ON WHO LISTENS TO IT.


Today, I wanted to decipher a line from "Bright Bulbs and Sharp Tools", an unreleased demo for a song on their upcoming album. Here are the lyrics followed by a link to the song.

Now heaven knows I've got one short damn fuse
So come sit down a spell while I light up the room
If walls could talk, they'd be know-it-all's
So we live in the sticks, there are some fish you can catch
And it makes my skin crawl
I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, so what's the use?
And she knew, she knew...

He fights like hell because he wants to glow
And would tackle the sun to be a bright bulb
I wonder if he'll wake us up in time?

He's gray
And has to hide somewhere in between black and white
Is he insane? But never was praying, before it's over,
I hope he takes you too

They say attack can be your best defense
And I've got mother's smile, both my dad's fists
John Doe escapes, carry his name
And when it's time to sign, ask where; not why

And it makes my blood boil
Those black letter days, all their mail just winds up lost

He's gray
And has to hide somewhere in between black and white
Is he insane? But never was praying, before it's over,
I hope he takes you too

You see whispers in the winter
Temper doesn't laugh

And every spring, I hear them sing, I hear them sing
Every spring, I hear them sing, I hear them sing
Every spring, I hear them sing

If he's going down
If he's going under the ground
I hope he takes you too

Whoa, whoa, whoa

I hope he takes you too

The line we are going to be looking at today is:

He fights like hell because he wants to glow
And would tackle the sun to be a bright bulb
I wonder if he'll wake us up in time?

Like with most of their lyrics, you need to invest a little bit of effort to find your own definition. That work, that effort, makes the meaning you find very rewarding. So it wasn't until I thought about it that I came up with a very neat interpretation.

"He fights like hell because he wants to glow" to me means that the subject of this song works very hard at what he does because of the way he wants to appear to other people. It is so important to him what others think of him that it is his fuel to succeed.

"And would tackle the sun to be a bright bulb" to me signifies that he is willing to destroy anything around him that is better or performs greater than he does. The contrast that would make him look less is something he can't abide. But tackling the sun is stupid...the sun is massive. You will die. It's impossible. Still, his will to tackle the sun, like a little dog picking a fight with a much bigger dog, is unfazed. He will kill himself trying to stifle those that are better than he is.

"I wonder if he'll wake us up in time?" is really neat. It takes the literal consequence of him destroying the sun and asks the question, "Now that the sun is gone, he will have to take the responsibilities of the sun. The sun did such a good job of waking us up on time...I wonder if he'll wake us up in time. This can then be taken a few different ways, for example, dealing with the consequences of the actions of a person who destroys others to be the highest on the totem pole.

So yeah, that's that. There is so much good stuff in these songs that I will probably be doing this for a while.

Monday, January 18, 2010

New perspective on old pain

After talking to an old friend (thanks, dude) and reading a few pages of a special book, I have come to the following conclusions. They feel right for me.

As a human, my first duty is to survive. The skills needed were passed down to me from other survivors. My ability to fight, defend myself and others I care about, to assess situations and to choose who I spend time with all help.

The second duty, after survival, is to replicate. Make stronger, better, smarter offspring by mating with another person as strong, or stronger, than me.

These are facts. They can not be argued or debated. We, as humans, are hard-wired to operate this way. We may cover these instincts up with new labels, rules and expectations, but really nothing changes.

That drive to love and be loved, that isn't you. That isn't your choice. That attraction you have for someone, that isn't you. That isn't your choice. It's your wiring. You may have a lot of control over certain aspects in your life, but this isn't one.

When you aren't in a relationship and you want to be, it hurts. That isn't you. That isn't your choice. In the same way that you are thirsty when you don't have water and hungry when you don't have food, your body sends you negative signals which are meant to tell you that you are failing at securing a mate and are therefor failing to pass on your genes. We call that "heartache" or "loneliness".

When a man pursues a woman and that woman accepts, there is a deep, deep satisfaction that is present. What is happening is that this aspect of the man is satiated. The body sends positive signals to the man which tells him that he is doing this right, keep it up. We call this "being in love".

A man then invests in the woman. He spends time, money and effort to continue the relationship and to solidify it. She is his mate. Like his water, food and rest, she is an essential part of him. And his mate is the only one that can stop the need that consumes him consistently. She is invaluable.

There are predators, though, who want a mate as well. This isn't their choice. It's the way things are. When they come prowling around your investment, you NEED to defend it. Your chance at pro-creating is in jeopardy and your body knows this. It sends you signals to be upset, violent and defensive. These signals are here because the men that survived before us had them and used them. They work. Using their strength, they were able to ward off predators and protect their investment in the same way that an animal protects its food from other animals.

When the woman leaves for another predator, there is a massive issue. You can no longer defend the woman because she doesn't want to be defended. She wants to be free of you. Someone else got her attention. You failed at keeping her as yours. Even though there are many other factors besides this that can cause a break up, your body doesn't care; it's interpreted the same today as it was thousands of years ago. Your body sees this and sends massive waves of pain to tell you that you should NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN AGAIN. EVER!! YOU ARE FAILING AT PASSING ON YOUR GENES BECAUSE YOU FAILED TO SECURE YOUR INVESTMENT FROM PREDATORS!! That is emotion. Its signals are DESIGNED to be miserable. They are designed to teach you a lesson. This heartache doesn't go away until you feed the need for a mate. In a lot of instances, this is why so much pain disappears when a new mate is introduced into your life.

Understand the simplicity of your pain. There is an issue: and there is a symptom, or signal, that is activated to alert you. You need water: thirst. You need food: hunger. You need rest: fatigue. You need a mate: heartache.

What about the people in the past that have violated this process? Be angry. Be upset. These are the factors that kept the species growing. The need to make an example out of them isn't just some blind rage, it's a genuine defense mechanism; it's a message that you send to everyone else who might try the same thing.

What about the need for monogamy? Because you have been designed to protect your investment, a rule has been set: do not let anyone else touch your woman. This spills over into the idea of monogamy. Monogamy feels right because it is in harmony with the basic, fundamental rule of protecting your investment. For me, any other logic fails to have an effect on this decision. The wiring is there.

We live in a time where we are constantly walking the balance between caveman consciousness and cosmic consciousness. In this way, we no longer look at just the human needs, but the spiritual ideas such as the ability to grow from experiences, that we are here to learn something, that everyone is connected, that we can't let ego destroy our experience, etc...but there is a LOT to be said about the rules that are in place.

I feel as if we don't need to ditch one for the other. There can be harmony. That doesn't mean that we should strive exclusively for cosmic consciousness, though. Caveman consciousness isn't replaced. Because it's wired into us, we can't decide to just turn it off. As long as it is active, there will be a need to understand women and men and how and why our emotions are working.

Now, this is also from the mind. It is up to your higher self to accept or deny this information, but it's further proof that it isn't YOU doing it, it's your mind and body. Surviving the best way they know how.

This is the human experience. Be aware of the rules and create situations where you thrive within their boundaries. Make life happy and eventful. Do you want your ex back? For now, it seems like that would have the most value since it would not only give you a compatible mate, but it would also nullify a lot of the regret. What a great prospect! Losing her and getting her back would net you more satisfaction than just having her ever did. Though you did go through a lot of misery, so it probably will balance out.

Or do you want another woman? Someone more attractive, someone more compatible? For me, when I start getting a taste of other women that I am REALLY into, I think it will change. My mind and body will focus less on getting her back and more on netting the next big catch.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The friend zone

So I have been hearing a lot about this friend's the place you don't want to end up with a girl that you are into. It seems like such an easy trap to fall into. When you are the nice guy, the one she can come to and talk to, the one who will listen, the one who will go out with her and do stuff, it seems like you are giving her enough of you that she has no need to enter into a serious relationship with you. She gets the benefit of YOU without having to give much of anything.

Now that's not to say that you don't get anything out of being a friend of a girl you like, but what you get is much different than what you want.

It seems like this kind of relationship sends a few different signals that lead to fail. First off, you seem to be telling her that you are happy. That you are enjoying your time with her. While that's true, that isn't the end result of your efforts, it's the side effect. You want to show her how awesome you are and how well you compliment her. All she can see, though, is that you are benefiting her, she likes it and that seems to be your intention since you appear to be at peace with it.

Second, this kind of relationship sends the signal that you enjoy the role you are playing and that makes it easier for her to PUT you in that role in HER mind.

Third, it shows that you are willing to give an insane amount of yourself to her in exchange for little. This tells her that she is valuable, awesome, exceptional, special, etc. It tells her that she is so valuable, awesome, exceptional, special, etc., that she doesn't NEED to do ANYTHING in order to keep the benefits coming. On her end, she can reap all of these benefits without having to do any work.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is that a woman will get SO MUCH good stuff from a guy who is trying to get her attention and show how good he fits, while doing nothing to earn it besides being awesome, that she will have NO INCENTIVE to give back. That hurts. A lot. And before you know it, you are a friend and since she has labeled you as such, the killer line is played:

"I don't want to risk losing you as a friend"

She values the friendship. You value the potential relationship. They are different.

How do you prevent going into the friend zone. And once you are there, is there a way out?